The Cornerstones of Running a Successful Business: Part One


Loyd-IMO-330Running a successful business involves many things — infrastructure, product, support and great people. Developing these things is actually easier than you might think and revolves around a key point. The key to success in business is the same as success in life; live the golden rule, be humble and treat people with respect.

This is an easy lesson that anyone can implement and it applies to not only our customers, but also to the people we work with. If everyone stopped trying to impress or one up each other, and treated others as they want to be treated, more business would get done and the reason is simple: When we treat people with respect and act with humility, we form a relationship built on trust.

Everybody knows that business is based on relationships. If you can’t trust that the people you are doing business with are going to respect you and your company, it’s impossible for that relationship to be successful. In the free market there are a lot of options for buyers and sellers. Some people are going to be out strictly for themselves and do whatever it takes to make a profit without thought to the consequences to other people involved. This may sometimes be an effective short-term strategy but is not successful in the long term as is evident by the long list of companies that have been bankrupted or bought out over the last decade.

Trust has to be earned in any relationship. Doing what you say you are going to do and then executing it is the easiest way to build trust with a business partner. We are an interconnected industry. If one person says that something is going to get done and it doesn’t, that can have a domino effect on an entire job. Manufacturers, integrators, and contractors cannot stand-alone; we need each other in order to deliver on customer requirements and expectations. If one link in that chain is weak disaster can follow. But if you are doing business with people you trust and have relationships with, those risks are minimized since everyone is working together toward a common goal, rather than for themselves.

Treating your internal customers with the same respect that you show your external customers is just as important. Respect allows your employees to feel like they are part of something that is bigger than they are. Engaged employees work harder and smarter and view their job as a career rather than a paycheck. They want to see the company succeed because you respect them and their value to the company. Companies that don’t recognize employee contributions or reward unprofessional behavior cannot expect their employees to take ownership in their professional roles, and when that happens, the results are high turnover, theft, and other negative consequences that will hinder any company from being successful.

I have met a lot of people in my life — people I have worked for, people I have done business with, and people that have worked for me. I have always told each of them, don’t do business with people that you don’t trust or that don’t treat you with respect, just for the money. When you do something just for the money, you sell out your integrity.  People will think you can be bought and will eventually run all over you.

The bottom line is, treat everyone you meet as you would like them to treat you, only do business with people that you trust, and remember that you only have one try at this thing we call life so we should always strive to get the most out of it.